How to deal with sibling sufferings
? RECOGNISE that the siblings of your childhood have changed and that people move on and can become very different people. It isn’t always one big happy family like The Waltons.
? If you feel a distance has materialised between you and a sibling, don’t take it personally. It’s probably about something that’s happened in their life.
? Don’t spend your life looking back– it can be heart-breaking to lose a connection with a sibling. If you want to keep the relationship going do so, but know your limitations and know when you’re beginning to suffer because of it.
? A lot of the time, says therapist Cathy Breslin, we don’t know how we feel until something happens. If you’re upset about something, talk about it or write it down, which will help to process it. Deal with your unfinished business by talking to a therapist or to the person in question.
? At some stage you must forgive and accept what has happened and let it go.
? Try to be objective. Cut siblings some slack.
? Don’t continue to do something that makes you feel exploited such as being left with the sole or majority care for an elderly or sick parent. Look first at how you are in that role and what positives there are, and if you still feel hard done by, address the situation.
? If you’re the kinkeeper and feeling tired of the role, take a step back and let someone else fill the gap. Be prepared to talk to your siblings about it.